Exams and Training
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Get Ready for your Ham Radio License!
The Technician class test for your entry-level Amateur Radio License is not extremely difficult. You will need to learn about Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules regarding Amateur Radio, radio operator responsibilities and courtesy, types of radio equipment and usage, along with some basic electrical concepts so that you understand how your radio works and how to operate safely. The current question “pool” consists of 396 questions broken up into ten categories. The test has a total of 35 questions drawn from this pool, and you must answer 75% of the questions correctly.
It is important to prepare as much as possible before an exam, even if you will be attending one of the so-called “Ham Cram” sessions. If you have never been exposed to ham radio or electronics before, becoming familiar with the test material will make the exam much less intimidating. And, once you have your license and begin to use your radio, having this knowledge will help to make you a more effective operator.
The entire question pool, with the correct answers indicated, is available for download on the Internet for free. If you download and review the question pool, it will help you become familiar with what you will be expected to know. This is very important, and will not only help you pass the exam, but make you more prepared for the next step of using your radio. There are also a number of books and study programs available from the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) and other organizations. Another way to prepare for the exam is to take practice tests on the web - this will tell you how well you are learning the material, where you are having problems, and if you are ready to take the real exam.
Remember that ham radio is first and foremost a wonderful hobby, with a number of different aspects, technical and social. It is something that you can use every day, and the more you learn, and the more you use your radio, the more you will enjoy it - and the better prepared you will be as an emergency communicator.
Below is a list of websites that can help you prepare for your exam:
The ARRL has free information on their website, online training (for a fee), as well as an online store where books and other training materials can be purchased.
W5YI also has a large selection of books and other training materials, featuring Gordon West WB6NOA.
This is the link to the question pools on the ARRL website.
Ham Crams, Radio Classes and Testing Sessions
The following is a list of radio groups that provide exam sessions and/or radio training in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please check their website for upcoming tests or training. A list of amateur radio license exam sessions in your area can be found at http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session
SPONSOR: San Francisco Amateur Radio Club
SPONSOR: Bay Area Educational Amateur Radio Society
SPONSOR: East Bay Amateur Radio Club
SPONSOR: Foothills Amateur Radio Society
SPONSOR: Hamilton Wireless Association
SPONSOR: Marin Amateur Radio Society
SPONSOR: Sonoma County Radio Amateurs
SPONSOR: Silicon Valley Volunteer Examiner Group
SPONSOR: Silverado Amateur Radio Society